Mike Sneesby.

Stan CEO Mike Sneesby announcing the 2020 SQ partnership. (Photo: Alister Randell)

Stan and Screen Queensland have put a call out for drama series pitches from Queensland-based writers and creative teams, as part of a joint development initiative.

The SQ + Stan Premium Drama Development Fund 2020 will see up to four writers/teams selected for further development and possible commission with the streaming service.

The creative brief is for high-end, Australian drama with world class scope and scale, pitched at the 15-45 age demographic. Stan is looking for “strong, auteur-driven vision” and “marketable hooks” for series that have a targeted of their audience and feature “complex characters with unique dilemmas fuelling story”.

The streamer is on the look out for fresh themes and noisy ideas, and is quite specific about what it doesn’t want. Don’t pitch historical or period drama (unless tackled in a contemporary way), crime drama, procedural/episodic crime drama, ‘heavy’ genre (eg: sci-fi, horror), or anthology series.

This year’s call out follows on from the 2018 iteration of the fund, which backed early-stage development of Steve Baker’s The Bloody Satisfaction of Derek Gott, Ursula Cleary’s Kindred Spirits, and Anthony Mullin’s Saviour, as well as electing Krissy Kneen to develop three projects into five-page briefs with the possibility of one continuing to a writer’s room and delivery into a pilot under the SQ + Stan First Look Initiative.

The 2018 call out saw more than 100 applications, with Screen Queensland CEO Kylie Munnich expecting a similar influx this round.

“The opportunity to pitch directly to decision makers is the stuff of dreams, so we at SQ have developed a pitching guide to give all applicants from emerging to established, key tips to to communicate their concept effectively,” she said.

Stan’s chief content officer Nick Forward said this year’s initiative will build on the success of last year’s partnership.

“We were incredibly impressed by the quality and breadth of projects submitted in the Premium Drama initiative and are pleased to extend the partnership with Screen Queensland in 2020.  We’re looking forward to unearthing some fresh new stories and continuing to support emerging Queensland talent.”

Applications are due February 2020. Apply and read the guidelines here.

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